You know how when the Syrian refugee crisis got mainstream media attention a few months back (which promptly simmered down to those not looking out for it, as if it weren’t an actual crisis at all) and some people shouted “we should help our own citizens first!” but a lot of other people were all “I’d let the refugees sleep on my couch!”.
Well, the latter had the right idea (the former, I suspect, isn’t helping refugees OR the American homeless…), but likely didn’t go much further than that statement. We’ve decided to make it easy on all you good-natured citizens of the world – there really are ways to help besides simply making a bold statement, though it does take some research.
If you’re in the US – it might seem impossible to get involved. Sadly, there aren’t as many Syrians taking shelter here as there could be, with American politicians making it pretty damn difficult for them to flee the war. At least you can make donations to American Refugee Committee International. The ARC is completely transparent and in good standing as a charitable organization, and donations start with those who haven’t been able to flee, making sure they have clean water, shelter and care.
If you’re in the US and don’t have cash to donate, don’t think you can’t help. Another organization, the IRC takes volunteers in many cities around America. Through their website you can also set up a fundraiser of your own, put pressure on local politicians, or simply spread the word. Never underestimate the power of social media, my friends!
For those who have left war-torn Syria behind to start life anew, adjusting to a completely different country and culture is incredibly difficult. Imagine if you were planted smack-dab in the middle of a culture you knew very little about? (One where plenty of people will do their best to make you feel not welcome.) You’ve successfully fled war, but the fight is far from over. If you want to help and live in any of these 9 countries, the German organization Refugees Welcome is essentially airBNB for refugees. You can welcome refugees into your home. So far those in Germany, Austria, Poland, Greece and Spain have helped people by opening their flats to refugees from all around the world. That’s a pretty amazing way to make a difference.